Gangs of Costa Mesa
At their study session next Tuesday the Costa Mesa City Council will discuss, among other things, the current proposal by new Police Chief Chris Shawkey to attack the growing gang problem in our city.
I read the staff report available on the city web site. It's voluminous, 22 pages, and looks like a pretty good start. The proof, of course, will come in the application of the plan - if the city council approves and funds it. There are elements they've rejected in the past that, according to most credible experts in this field, are essential to the success of any such program.
And, it will come to no surprise to regular readers, that the CM Press has chimed in on this subject with his own special spin. Part of what he has to say should be cause for concern to all Costa Mesa residents.
In his little assessment of the plan he notes with much indignation that the only gangs mentioned by ethnicity are white supremacists. He's offended that the staff report found it necessary to mention that ethnic group and didn't mention Latinos. He attempts in his mini-tirade to portray these groups as somehow oppressed, singled out for discussion when, in his words, the real problem is the Latinos. Give me a break! Anyone with even half a brain, much less a Mensa member, realizes that we're talking about Latino gangs in this city. The fact that white supremacists exist in our community is very relevant and an important consideration when formulating plans to deal with gangs in general.
You will recall that he and his buddy, the mayor, were strangely mute when a task force snatched up 20 white supremacists from 17 separate locations in Costa Mesa as part of a county-wide crackdown the end of last year that took 58 individuals off the streets. Those arrested were part of a group that, among other crimes, allegedly had targeted law enforcement officers for assassination. I commented on this curious silence at that time because the mayor had been the first one in front of a microphone or writing commentaries in the newspapers if a Latino person had been arrested for committing a crime and the CM Press crowed loud and long when any crime involving Latinos occurred. He told us he was frequently "first on the scene" at some crimes because he monitors the calls from his home in Mesa North. I thought at the time it was a curious double standard, and still do. It was especially strange since the targets had been law enforcement officers. I would have expected the mayor to be overjoyed about those arrests and to have made a big deal of it. Any real civic leader would have made a point to compliment the task force, and the part Costa Mesa officers played in the sweep, in an effort to make our citizens proud and feel safer. No, the mayor was mute and invisible.
It doesn't surprise me at all that the guy at the CM Press takes umbrage at the mention of those white supremacist gangs. He writes his racist essays for web sites like the New Nation News and National Vanguard among others that are specifically massaged for white supremacist consumption. His incendiary rhetoric provides no doubt about his personal views on race in this country. In his recent posting he provides his readers with a mini version of his underlying position on race. It's disgusting.
So, next Tuesday the council will have the new plan presented. I will wait with great interest to see how our city council, and particularly the majority, respond to it.